Greenbelt Partners with Essex, Gloucester on Climate Threats
State Grant Funds Conservation Education, Strategies
Greenbelt is working with the Town of Essex and the City of Gloucester to prioritize climate resilient parcels to help address the challenges they face from climate change. This work is part of a project funded by a Coastal Resilience grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.
As coastal storms become more intense, flooding threatens critical infrastructure in both communities. Post-storm recovery has also become more demanding as the frequency of major weather events has grown.
"We've had productive kick off meetings with municipal officials and volunteers," said Abby Hardy-Moss, Greenbelt's Conservation Planner & GIS Manager, who has created a number of data sets to help identify the most climate resilient parcels throughout the county.
The urgency of the work is underscored by the impacts already being felt by the impacted property owners, families who derive their economic livelihood from fishing and clamming, and the hundreds of businesses dependent on the dollars that tourism brings.
This spring, Greenbelt will be hosting regional workshops targeted to municipal and land trust staff and volunteers that will focus on climate resilient land conservation opportunities and funding for the region.
In addition to the workshops and meetings, the grant is funding the production of a number of outreach pieces that will be released in 2020. Greenbelt's headquarters, the Cox Reservation, borders the Great Marsh in Essex. The impacts of sea-level rise and coastal flooding on the property will be the subject of an upcoming video. "We'll also be releasing two 'Story Maps,' using photographs, video, mapping, and other media, to better visualize local climate impacts and resiliency efforts," said Hardy-Moss.
Greenbelt is dedicated to addressing the challenges of climate change through its work to protect and manage land, and through ongoing partnerships with our land trust and municipal colleagues. This effort to incorporate climate resilient data sets into land protection projects will help strengthen the foundation for our ongoing conservation work.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.